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476                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
return, the Customs and, indeed, almost all the resources
of the Empire were to be pledged. This concession was
granted to Baron Julius de Reuter, a naturalized British
subject, whose scheme involved the floating of several
companies to work the vast enterprise.
With a na'ive ignorance of European politics, the Shah
started at this juncture on his first European tour, and he
was surprised and disappointed to find that strong indigna-
tion prevailed in the highest quarters at Petrograd against
this extraordinary concession. In England His Majesty
was equally disappointed to find apathy on the subject
where he had expected to find enthusiasm. The feeling of
Persia was also entirely against the surrender to Europeans
of such far-reaching control, and on this occasion public
opinion was entirely sound. Consequently, upon the
Shah's return to Teheran, the concession was annulled.
The Opening of the Karun, 1888.—Among the con-
cessions granted by Nasir-u-Din was one by which the
lower Karun was opened to commerce.1 This was greeted
with enthusiasm in the British Press ; but when it is
understood that the stretch of river actually opened was
only one hundred and seventeen miles in length, equivalent
to rather less than eighty miles by land, the small im-
portance of the concession that had been gained becomes
apparent. Nor did the special regulations fail to lessen
the value of what the Shah had reluctantly conceded. By
the Treaty of Turkomanchai Europeans are allowed cc des
maisons pour les habiter, et des magasins pour y d£poser
leurs merchandises." But by the retrograde "KarunRegu-
lations" we learn that "il est formellement interdit de
construire, sur les rives de la Karoun, des Mtiments tels
que entrep6ts de charbon ou de marchandise, boutiques,
caravans&rails, ateliers, etc." It is thus evident that the
Shah was ill-advised, and wished to take away with one
hand what he had conceded with the other.
Much credit is due to Messrs. Lynch Brothers for
undertaking to act as pioneers under such unfavourable
conditions. Not only was the Persian Government
t * Vide Curzon's Persia, chap. xxv. and Ten Thousand Miles, etc., chaps, xxi.   and
xxii.